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Brookline Booksmith takes over adjoining storefront — again

This add-on marks the second expansion in two years for Coolidge Corner bookseller.

Brookline Booksmith on Harvard Street.Gwendolyn Corkill

Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner has expanded into the neighboring storefront at 281 Harvard Street, the second time the much-loved bookseller has grown in size since the pandemic.

The new 800-square-foot space, the former site of Dependable Cleaners, is dedicated to housing the bookstore’s art and design books. The new nook opened to the public on Friday, Sept. 16, said co-owner Lisa Gozashti, less than a year after the Booksmith began renting the property from their existing landlord. There will be a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 14.

“We always wanted to create a space of wonder and a space to wander,” said Gozashti of the new space in the 61-year-old bookstore.


During construction, the Booksmith removed the wall between the new space and the store’s gift room, the product of their 2020 expansion into the 4,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by a Verizon store. The original storefront, located at 279 Harvard St., is now able to accommodate “many more books than we’ve ever had since our founding,” said Gozashti, with a focus on curating titles in areas like Black studies, Latina studies and Asian studies.

“It just feels like we’re spreading our wings,” said Gozashti. “We always wanted to have a huge wall full of design books because we didn’t have the ability, and now that we do, I just feel overjoyed.”

Brookline Booksmith is the latest in a string of local independent bookstores to expand in recent years, partially reversing a long trend of bookstores declining in Boston as online alternatives like Amazon have proliferated. Porter Square Books and Harvard Book Store have both launched new outposts, while a long-planned new bookstore in Beacon Hill is opening this month.

Dana Gerber can be reached at dana.gerber@globe.com. Follow her @danagerber6.